Is it lawful to not pay at least the national minimum wage to interns? I cannot see them in the list of excluded categories but they are taken on to learn and get their foot in the door of their chosen career rather than to do anything absolutely essential. But am I in breach of the National Minimum Wage Act 2000 if I do not pay anything but expenses?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 7 June 2011
A&L Goodbody
A&L Goodbody
Issues covered:

The National Minimum Wage Act 2000 (the “2000 Act”) does not make reference to the engagement of “interns” and this issue has not been the subject of any detailed analysis by Irish courts or tribunals to date. Under the 2000 Act, if a person carries out work in accordance with a contract of employment, the person is deemed an employee and is entitled to pay from the employer. In the case of interns, however, the position is not entirely clear.

From decided case law in the UK, it would appear that it is essential that there be a mutuality of obligation in order for a relationship of employment to exist. In other words, there must be a duty on the organisation to provide work and an

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

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A&L Goodbody
A&L Goodbody

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